Time on appeal does not count towards the "clock" to make him eligible for a work permit. If he was not eligible on the day of his trial, he is still not eligible.
The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.
If you were eligible for EAD at the trial level, you would be at the appellate level. Otherwise, you facts are inconclusive to provide any more detailed answer.
The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.
I agree with my colleagues ... you have a case of status quo.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.